As the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 prepares to host The World of Yousuf Karsh: A Private Essence, our 2022 national artist-in-residence competition is now opened for applications. This exhibition was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with our Museum. The Halifax exhibition is supported by Fred and Elizabeth Fountain. The goal of this residency program is to enable an artist to create a new work inspired by the work of Yousuf Karsh that contributes to the Museum’s mandate while advancing their art practice. We are seeking a portrait photographer to work in the tradition of Karsh’s Maclean’s magazine cross-country assignment. This captivating body of work captured regular Canadians, and is considered by many to be some of his best work. While the exhibition will feature some of Karsh’s most recognizable images of famous people, the residency is inspired by Karsh’s ability to capture the humanity and dignity in all of his subjects which Stephen Dale from the National Gallery of Canada wrote, “confirm(s) that for Karsh, the refugee, the dignity of a person did not depend upon their station or circumstances.”

This will be a six month virtual residency. We are looking for a portrait photographer to partner with a community group, organization or institution to create portraits of first generation Canadians. They could be individual or family portraits. Family portraits could include first, second and third generation members. Examples of potential partners include but are not limited to settlement organizations, clubs and community centres, YMCA newcomer programs, schools and nursing homes. The photographer and their partner may host a show of the work but it is not a requirement.

Please approximate how many portraits you expect to produce but there is no minimum or maximum number as that will depend on the project and partner.

Ownership of the work will remain with the artist though we suggest that all subjects be given a copy of their portrait. We also request that the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 be provided with digital portraits for projection to accompany the artist’s profile and artistic statement in the Ralph and Rose Chiodo Gallery foyer at several milestones and that the selected photographer share a selection of portraits and accompanying text for a virtual gallery on our website at the end of the project.

Apply to the 2022 Artist-in-Residence Program

Application deadline: February 16, 2022.
Selection of artist: March 16, 2022.

$15,000.00 (including all supplies, artist fee, cost of living, participant stipends if applicable etc.)

Criteria for Selection:

  • Applicant demonstrates artistic excellence and professionalism. (30 pts)
  • The proposed project offers a collaborative way for the artist to work with a selected community group, organization or institution to create portraits that capture the beauty and humanity of their new Canadian members. (40 pts)
  • Experience working collaboratively. (20 pts)
  • Feasibility of the proposed program. (10 pts)

Submission Requirements:

Please submit the following items by February 16, 2022. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

  1. Cover page/Email including full contact information
  2. Email, CD, DVD or USB drive including:
    ◦  Proposal: a description of your proposed project including who you propose to partner with
    ◦  Brief project plan with a timeline and milestones
    ◦  Estimated budget (supplies, artist fee, cost of living, participant stipends if applicable etc.)
    ◦  Curriculum vitae
    ◦  Work samples (five work samples, articles or reviews, whatever best conveys your work)

A short list of up to three artists may be interviewed prior to selection.

Send or email submissions to:

Carrie-Ann Smith (she/her/elle)
Vice-President, Audience Engagement
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
D : 902.425.0071 | T : 902.425.7770 ext. 225 | F : 902.423.4045
[email protected]

About the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is located in a national historic site at the Halifax seaport. Nearly one million immigrants landed in Canada here from 1928 to 1971. Today, as a national museum, we share the ongoing story of immigration to Canada—past to present, and coast to coast. Our content onsite, online and in our podcast, immerses visitors in the immigration experience, allowing for a deeper understanding of how newcomers continue to shape our country. Countless Journeys. One Canada. Visit to learn more about the museum.

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@pier21_quai21 on Instragram

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